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Former Roger Federer Coach Recalls Anecdote From 2001 That Made Him Believe Big Things Were Coming: “I Knew Right Away..”

Samir Satam

Former Roger Federer Coach Recalls Anecdote From 2001 That Made Him Believe Big Things Were Coming: "I Knew Right Away.."

Roger Federer won his first Grand Slam way back in 2003 against Australian Mark Philippoussis at Wimbledon under the tutelage of Peter Lundgren. Since then until his retirement in September, Federer has had quite a few changes of coaches. Peter recently shared one such interesting anecdote that he says confirmed in his mind that Roger would be a great of the sport.

Among a very majestic list of coaches including the likes of Stefan Edberg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Ljubičić, Lundgren perhaps wasn’t the best player although he was world no. 25 at the peak of his powers. But what makes Lundgren special is that he was there at the very beginning of the unbelievable sporting journey that is Federer’s career.

Roger Federer’s smile says it all

In his wildly illustrious career that started in the last century, in 1998, Roger Federer won a mountain of trophies. His first ATP title came just three years into his career at Milan in 2001. Lundgren’s favorite anecdote is from this particular instance.

Jul 8, 2007; London, ENGLAND; Roger Federer (SUI) celebrates his fifth straight Wimbledon championship after defeating Rafael Nadal (not pictured) 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2 during the 2007 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Tennis Club. Mandatory Credit: GEPA pictures/ Alan Grieves via USA TODAY Sports

Lundgren, who won three titles over the course of his career, made a little quip to Federer after his victory and the Swiss’ response made the coach believe this was just the beginning. Asked about his favorite Federer anecdote, Peter Lundgren had this to say to Blick.

“After he won his first ATP tournament in Milan in 2001, I pulled him aside and jokingly said: Well, now you’re only two titles behind me. Roger only smiled at that. And I knew right away: there will be a lot more to come.”

While it would be easy to shrug Federer’s smile off as nothing significant, looking at just how his career turned out you can probably imagine that there was more to it. Behind the smile probably lay a quiet confidence and assurance that there were many other, bigger titles that would follow.

Lundgren and Federer parted ways a couple of years after his victory in Milan, but not before winning their maiden slam at Wimbledon in 2003. The former Swedish player enjoyed his time coaching the Swiss maestro immensely. And during this time, the two did lay the groundwork for Roger to excel.

“It wasn’t easy with him at first. He had a lot of temper and showed it too often in games. But he quickly realized that he had to change. He learned extremely quickly and always found a way to solve problems. When he won Wimbledon for the first time in 2003, I was incredibly happy for him. It was nice to see him take that step. I enjoyed the time with him.”

Peter Lundgren is currently coaching another young Swiss player named Dominic Stricker. Ranked 115 in the world, Stricker certainly has a long way to go yet, but let’s hope Lundgren can work his magic once again and give us another superstar to watch in the coming years.

About the author

Samir Satam

Samir Satam


Samir Satam is a Tennis and Golf editor at The SportsRush. After his puny physicality (...and talent?) dashed his dreams of making a career out of playing Tennis or Soccer, he decided to combine his other passion, writing, with sports and dive into sports media. With over 4 years in the industry, Samir is enjoying his time giving sports fans what he would want to read as a fan.

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